February 28, 2002, - 9:42 am
By Debbie Schlussel
What a lowbrow President we have. “Backwards” George Bush doesn’t watch “Sex and the City.”
That’s the view of New York Times reporter Frank Bruni, assigned to cover Bush during the 2000 Presidential campaign and the first eight months of his Presidency.
And it should give you a good idea of what the press thinks is important, and what the mainstream media thinks makes a good president.
It should also make you thank your lucky stars that the electorate–and not the haughty haute-couture press–is the arbiter of the Presidential sweepstakes.
Bruni’s new book, “Ambling into History,” on bookshelves March 5th, casts aspersions on Bush’s Presidential fitness based on his barren pop culture knowledge. As if that’s the basis on which to evaluate the leader of the free world.
According to Bruni, Bush is somehow a lesser character because he didn’t know about the hit HBO series, “Sex and the City.” Reportedly, he thought is was “an inquiry into his erotic and geographic whereabouts.”
Horror of horrors . . . the policy-maker-in-chief, concerned with lesser issues like the economy and the War on Terrorism, doesn’t know about a pay-TV show chronicling four whores who sleep with a new man more often then they change their exorbitant designer thong underwear. Can you imagine what it must do to Bush’s decision-making process on whether or not to go after Iraq? After all, how can he possibly command respect with the troops, when he doesn’t have the slightest awareness of “Big,” the “Sex and the City” boyfriend, so garishly nicknamed for his power and finances?
Bush needs to spend less time reading substantive stuff like Bernard Goldberg’s “Bias” about biased media-coverage of policy, and read important trash like anything by Candace Bushnell, the in-vogue authoratrix on whose life “Sex and the City” is based. Or better yet, the explicit how-to sex book–turned down by a dozen publishers for being to risque–by “Sex and the City” star Kim Catrall (previously in such B-movie “classics” as “Porky’s” and “Mannequin”), who plays the sluttiest of the vapid foursome. Now that’s Presidential.
Why have a President concentrating on the world’s true “Axis of Evil” when you can have a President keeping up on fashion’s Axis of Evil–Manolo Blahnik high-heeled shoes, at $800 a pop, as seen on trend–setting Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie on “Sex and the City?”
Even worse, Bush had no idea what a “vegan” (defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a vegetarian who consumes no dairy products) is. What a tragedy. George W. is a real man–a carnivorous, meat and potatoes man, who isn’t so into the trivial nuances and nomenclature of a culture populated by those whose self-identity is nothing more than the wimpy, granola, hippyish diet they keep.
And there’s actor Leonardo DiCaprio and his role in “Titanic.” How dare we respect a President who isn’t up on the chickiest of chick flicks and the most girlie male teen idol who starred in it. And those unstylish peanut-butter sandwiches, Freetos, and Cheez Doodles have got to go. So unpresidential. Peanut-butter and Freetos are out? No-one told me. Where’s my stylist and dining coach when you need them?
That heathen, George W. He actually admits that a rugged, real man–Chuck Norris–is his favorite actor. Just like all of the other uncultured Americans who made Norris’ “Walker, Texas Ranger,” one of TV’s top-rated shows for the last nine seasons. What were they thinking? No condoms, no four-letter words, not even a gratuitous sex-scene. And the good guy–a member of law enforcement–actually prevails. Martial arts and guns for law-abiding citizens’ protection. We can’t have that.
Somehow Bush is uncultured because he knows not what it means to be a “yenta” (Yiddish for gossipy, annoying busybody; usually female).
Remember the last President? He knew a lot about pop culture. No wonder he so impressed Bruni and the rest of the left-wing, hipness-snobs that make up the White House press’ elite coterie. Bill Clinton not only knew “Sex and the City,” he lived it in the White House . . . with several “yentas.” Yes, Bill Clinton was very familiar with yentas–like Monica and Eleanor Mondale. Yentas like Denise Rich and Barbara Streisand, who spent the night at the White House when Hillary didn’t.
Clinton’s pop culture acumen was so sharp–a characteristic sadly lacking in his domestic and foreign policy–that it’s the high point of his nadir-encrusted Presidency, even in his own physical retelling of it for posterity. In December, after ground was broken on the Clinton Presidential Library complex, a preview exhibit opened nearby. The exhibit features pictures of Clinton with musicians Stevie Wonder and Lenny Kravitz, a signed guitar from B.B. King, and a statue of Michael Jordan that the equally philandering hoops star gave the President.
That’s the sum total of Clinton Presidency highlights. Hanging out with celebs, pro athletes, and pop stars. No important treaties or memorable bills signed. No souvenirs of military victories. No historic or heroic achievements. Even his “poet laureate” Maya Angelou is writing jingles for Hallmark Cards.
No, the heroics and the souvenirs of just wars are reserved for the guy that sits in the Oval Office now. The guy who has returned dignity to the phrase Commander-in-Chief.
But what good is he? After all, George W. Bush doesn’t eat sushi.
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